What is Fostering?

Fostering is looking after babies, children or young people who are in need of a safe, stable family environment. Foster carers receive a generous fostering allowance, expert training and ongoing support from their local National Fostering Group team.

The wellbeing of foster children

In a nutshell, fostering provides a full-time, safe and nurturing family environment for children and young people in need. Foster carers, also known as foster parents, invest a great amount of time and energy into the wellbeing of a child or young person.

  • When a child stays with you this might be short term or long term.
  • Our foster carers qualify for a generous fostering allowance to help them provide their foster children with stability and security.
  • Fostering requires flexibility, patience and understanding.
  • You’ll have a comfortable home with a full-time spare bedroom for the exclusive use of your foster child.
  • You’ll love working as part of a wider National Fostering Group team, which will give you essential support.
  • You’ll embrace training as a way to achieve the best outcomes for you, your family and the child in your care.
What makes us special?

Fostering is a very rewarding role and no two days are the same. The look of joy on your young person's face when they have a new life experience and you turn their life around is priceless!

Natalie, National Fostering Group foster carer

Why do children need fostering?

There are many reasons why children and young people need to be looked after by foster carers, and every single case is different. The myth that families are always at fault and foster children are always difficult is untrue. Some people just need more help than others.

As varied as the reasons for needing care are, there are three broad categories that most children in care fit into – periods of instability, harm from family members, or special needs.

Periods of instability

Some families unfortunately go through periods of instability due to difficult circumstances and need time apart to find a solution. Common factors include things like medical conditions, family breakdowns, learning difficulties, substance dependencies and depression.

Harm from family members

In cases where a child is experiencing an abusive home life, parents may have failed to meet the basic needs of their child, caused them harm, or exposed them to inappropriate behaviour or risk. The child or young person needs a foster home – a safe environment where they can thrive.

Abuse falls into five main groups: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence. These can all have long-lasting effects on the victim, so foster children may need extra special care and attention.

Special needs

The parents of children with special needs occasionally need foster carers to take over so they can take a break. Looking after children can be challenging and draining on a full-time basis, so respite care lets parents recover for a weekend, a couple of weeks or the duration of the school holidays.

Special needs include learning disabilities, specific medical needs, severe disabilities and challenging behaviour. Only carers who have been specifically trained to deal with each need will be put forward for this type of foster care.

My foster carer is like Andy from Toy Story - Andy never gives up on Woody and my carer never gives up on me.

Chloe, aged 10.

National fostering with local impact

Fostering is an important undertaking. As one of the UK’s most experienced agencies, we’ll support you every step of the way – starting with your application to become a carer.

All our local fostering services have been rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, so you can see how committed we are to ensuring a positive and reassuring foster care experience for you and your foster child.

Start your fostering journey with National Fostering Group

  • We have fostering agencies all across the UK
  • Over 3,000 carers already part of our family
  • Benefit from our local support groups and social workers